Description of Award
The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public's health by providing U.S. researchers, healthcare professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and increase health equity through information.
The NNLM Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) and Offices rely upon partnerships. The award’s primary aims are to widen access to and awareness of health information resources, with a focus on those resources provided by the NLM. The programs are intended to help a variety of users:
- With a focus on minority and other underrepresented populations and the healthcare professionals who serve them
- Make the most effective use of information and decision-support resources to promote healthy behaviors
- Prevent costly and debilitating illness
- Improve health outcomes when disease occurs
The purpose of the Health Information Outreach Award is to ensure that healthcare professionals, patients, and the general public are introduced to authoritative health information. This award provides support for projects that improve health information literacy and increase the ability of consumers caregivers, students, and other members of the public to find and use health information. Funds can also be used to improve healthcare professionals’ access to, awareness of, and skills for locating high-quality biomedical and health information. Awards should focus on building partnerships and collaborating with local community groups, and working with other key groups to provide health information outreach projects to underrepresented populations in the region.
All projects must incorporate one or more National Library of Medicine resources like PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, or MedlinePlus. You can refer to the NLM list of Databases, Resources, and APIs for a complete overview of resources by topic.
Preference will be given to projects that increase information access for current and future audiences, with priority for underrepresented populations experiencing health disparities relating to:
- race and ethnicity;
- biological sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation;
- cognitive and physical abilities;
- religious background or identification;
- socio-economic status (past and current);
- education level, health literacy, and linguistic needs;
- geographic location including underrepresented populations from medically underserved areas;
- and other factors or demographics that create unequal access to the highest level of health (please refer to the special supplement by the American Journal of Public Health about health disparities research).
Potential projects may include but are not limited to (this list is not meant to be all-inclusive):
- Training underrepresented healthcare professionals or professionals that work with underrepresented populations in the effective use of electronic health information resources for evidence-based practice with an emphasis on NLM databases and NNLM resources.
- Placing web-accessible devices in locations where they can be used to research health information needs by unaffiliated healthcare professionals such as free clinics, community health centers, etc.
- Improving access to health information and technology for those groups without adequate access to information services.
- Exhibiting or presenting at local meetings or organizational events to share completed outreach projects and promote NLM products and services.
- Evaluating health information and training needs of a target audience and implementing a training plan for that audience.
- Programs on locating and evaluating authoritative consumer health information.
- Incorporating NLM health and science information resources into new or existing health programs. See National Health Observances slide show for some ideas.
- Development of supplemental educational materials using NLM resources.
- Train-the-Trainer projects that enhance the skills of the service-providing staff and other consumer health information intermediaries to train participants on locating and evaluating health information.
RML/Office staff are available for consultation on applicable NLM resources. Learn more about more past funded projects: NNLM Past Funded Projects webpage.
- Your institution or organization must be a Network Member of the NNLM. Not a member yet? Join now for free!
- Organizations, in most cases, are only eligible to apply for awards from the Regional Medical Library that serves the state in which they operate. Please contact the RML/Office for further clarification.
University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) RCOI Requirement
Successful applicants will be required to submit a Research Conflict of Interest (RCOI) disclosure. From the HSC website:
“All individuals, both internal and external, involved in research are required to complete the new UNTHSC COI eDisclosure. For external individuals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org the following information: name of individual, email address, department at UNTHSC they will be affiliated with and state that they are an external individual. An account will be setup so they can complete the UNTHSC COI eDisclosure.”
For more information, visit: https://www.unthsc.edu/research/office-of-research-compliance/research-conflict-of-interest/
Disallowance of Human Subjects Research
Projects containing Human Subjects Research components will not be reviewed or considered for funding. Applicants that can generate a determination letter from their IRB stating that their project does not meet regulatory definitions should submit documentation as soon as possible. Typically, quality improvement activities are not considered human subjects research and would still be eligible to apply for funding.
Your application will be comprised of the following items:
- Full Project Proposal (Project Information, Project Narrative, Budget Justification)
- Direct Beneficiaries / Populations Served checklist
- SF424 R&R Budget Sheet
- F&A rate agreement (if applicable)
- IRB determination letter (if applicable)
- Letters of support (optional)
Please do not combine all seven (7) items into a single PDF package. Send as separate attachments in a single email. Instructions for each item are below.
- Full Project Proposal
Please include the following sections (Project Information, Project Narrative, and Budget Justification) and fields in your proposal. Follow the page limits and formatting standards below to ensure readability and fairness.
- Text size: 12 point
- Text color: Black
- Recommended fonts:
- Helvetica, or
- Times New Roman
- 1” margins
- DOCX or PDF file format is acceptable
- Clearly formatted headings and labels for each section of your application
- Lead Organization: List the institution that will lead and receive funding to conduct the proposed project.
- Project Lead: Enter the name of the person coordinating this project.
- Institution Tax ID: Enter the 9-digit tax identification number for your institution.
- Institution Unique Entity Identifier: Please confirm your organization’s unique entity identifier at SAM.gov. If you do not have a unique entity identifier, apply for one as soon as possible. As of April 2022, the federal government stopped using the DUNS number. Entities doing business with the federal government will use a Unique Entity Identifier created in SAM.gov.
- Have you/your institution previously received NNLM funding in the current grant cycle? Yes, No, or I don’t know.
- Amount Requested: The amount specified should not exceed the limit established by the RML/Office. Contact your RML/Office if you have questions about the funding amount.
Project Narrative (do not exceed 10 pages; page limit does not include supporting documentation such as a bibliography or appendix)
- Project Title: Describe the project with an external audience in mind.
- Project Summary: Provide a one-paragraph description that summarizes the proposed project. Funded projects are displayed on the NNLM website and are provided by NLM in response to requests from NIH, HHS, OMB, Congress, and the White House.
- Partner Organizations: If applicable, use the NNLM Membership Directory to find existing records for up to three (3) organizations that will partner with the Lead Organization to conduct/complete the project. List them here. If a record does not exist for a partner organization, provide the institution name, address, and contact information.
- Training to be Provided as Part of this Award: State yes or no.
- Proposed Start and End Dates for the Project: List the appropriate dates. Contact your RML/Office before applying if your project will extend more than one year.
- Evidence of Need: Provide a statement of how the project proposed will support the mission of NNLM, explain the need for the project, and describe the audience or population that will be reached through this project. Please clearly document if this project will engage underrepresented populations and/or involve medically underserved areas. When possible, support the stated need using data such as known needs assessments or statistics.
- Project goals and objectives: State the goal(s) and specific objectives(s) of the proposed project. Goals should align to RML Specific Aims, NNLM Goals and Objectives, and/or the NLM Strategic Plan.
- Implementation: Describe what will be done to meet project objectives and its rationale. Include tasks to be performed and who will perform them.
- Schedule/Timeline: Include a timeline for implementing the plan to meet objectives.
- Evaluation Plan: Describe how the project will measure success. Include data collection frequency, type of data to be collected, tools, and how data will be used or disseminated.
- Publicity/Promotion: Briefly describe how you intend to promote your project to the target audience. Please specify which NLM resources or NNLM national initiatives will be utilized, how they will be promoted, and how they will be utilized throughout the project.
- Continuity/Sustainability Plan: Describe the activities that will sustain project services and/or communication to the targeted community beyond the award project period.
- Personnel Qualifications: If applicable, list the project personnel who will be involved in the project and include their role(s) and applicable experience. Submit resumes or CVs for personnel listed in the proposal.
Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution, not the individual.
For each budget item, include a narrative justification for the purchase that explains its purpose for the project.
If a budget line is not applicable for your project, you may leave it blank. The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:
- Personnel: Include (% time X annual salary) or (hourly rate X estimated hours). Check with your RML/Office for specifics on personnel.
- Consultant Costs: Estimate expenses from consultants, such as marketing firms or other agencies. Submit the following information to the RML/Office: name of consultant, description of work, hourly rate, total amount/not to exceed amount, and period of performance.
- Equipment: Quotes for items required such as computers and other equipment. Include quotes received or other pricing information as a separate attachment.
- Supplies: Quotes for printing and other materials. Include description and any quotes as a separate attachment.
- Communications: Media, publicity or other communication costs. Include description and any quotes as a separate attachment.
- Reproduction: Printing materials or other reproduction costs.
- Travel: Estimates for travel. Include description and any quotes as a separate attachment.
- Other: Include description and any quotes as a separate attachment.
- Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: Apply at your institution’s non-research rate (typically “Other Sponsored Research”). If your institution does not have a negotiated rate, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) can be applied if you wish to claim it. Indirect Costs included in your overall budget. Your direct costs plus your IDC should not exceed the total award amount.
Funding restrictions: Food, promotional items and furniture are not allowable expenses. Promotional items include but are not limited to: Clothing and commemorative items such as pens, mugs/cups, folders/folios, lanyards, and conference bags that are sometimes provided to visitors, employees, grantees, or conference attendees. Refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
- Direct Beneficiaries / Populations Served Checklist
Please complete the accompanying Direct Beneficiaries / Populations Served Checklist with the following information:
- Populations Served: Select up to three (3). These should be the primary populations targeted in your project. If not explicitly identified in the proposal section, please do not select it here.
- Participant’s Roles: Select all that apply. These are the primary roles of the participants of your project. These should be explicitly identified in the proposal section.
Please include the CVs or resumes of any key personnel or contributors to the project.
- SF424 R&R Budget Sheet
Please complete the accompanying SF424 R&R Budget Sheet. Detailed instructions on completing this form can be found on page 92 of General Instructions for NIH and other PHS Agencies.
- F&A Rate Agreement (if applicable)
If your institution has a negotiated rate, your Office of Sponsored Programs or equivalent department can provide the rate agreement.
If your organization does not have a negotiated rate and chooses to receive the “de minimus” rate of 10%, no documentation is needed.
- IRB Determination Letter (if applicable)
The RML does not fund projects that involve human subjects research. Some organizations may have an Institutional Review Board that can generate a determination letter that shows that your project does not meet regulatory definitions. Inquire within your organization if you’re unsure.
If selected, the RML will submit your proposal to the North Texas Regional Institutional Review Board for review if a letter is not available from your organization. Consulting with the RML prior to submitting your application is highly recommended.
- Letters of Support or Commitment (optional)
If you are partnering with another organization that is contributing effort or resources to your project, you may include any letters that demonstrate that commitment. This is optional.
When you submit application documents, you are agreeing to the following:
- You will share the information gained with colleagues in your institution/RML/Office, as required by the Request for Proposal.
- You will submit regular, interim & final reports, as requested by the funding agency & stipulated in the Request for Proposal.
- Any web-based resources developed for this project will ensure accessibility to the greatest possible number of people.
- Additional documentation will need to be completed should your project be awarded. Please consult with your RML/Office for details.
For support in grant writing, please see the NNLM Grants and Proposal Writing Course for tips on award applications.
Section 508 requires that all website content be accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to Web applications, Web pages and all attached files on the intranet, as well as, internet. The National Library of Medicine is a part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recipients of National Library of Medicine funding through the NNLM must meet all requirements under Section 508. Information on 508 Compliance.
Technical/progress reports on the project may be required in order to satisfy its reporting obligations to the Federal Awarding Agency.
A Final Report will be submitted within 15 days after the end of the Project Period or 30 days after termination of this award, whichever comes first.
Same as above.
Recipients of NNLM funding are required to deposit any peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publication in PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
To facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the NNLM Cooperative Agreement Award, all subawardees are required to share any data or training material resulting from funding. This information must be submitted to the following collection sites as applicable:
- Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) website;
- Other websites specifically designated by the NLM as part of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (considering changes in the project and data repositories required to maintain sharing within the Network).
In addition, recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with your RML/Office and the NNLM Training Office (NTO) prior to developing materials.
Per Section 8.2.1. - Right in Data (Publication and Copyrighting) of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any materials developed as a result of funding and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the Network of the National Library of Medicine. Data developed by a subawardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy.
Any resources developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer. Please consult with your RML/Office for the specific acknowledgment statement to be used for your project award.
Application Review and Scoring Criteria
Review and selection of proposals - reviewers selected by the RML/Office. The Review Committee may include staff as well as Network members from the region, such as public health professionals, academic health science librarians, and community organizations. The Review Committee will make final recommendations for funding to the Associate/Executive Director of the RML/Office. Applicants will receive a copy of reviewer comments along with a final decision regarding funding.
Scored Review Criteria: Scale: 1-100
The application will be scored in the following areas:
- Significance (15 points max): Does the proposed program make a significant contribution to the mission of NNLM. Is there information on the target population provided? Are there estimates of the potential population and the portion expected to be reached? Is the target group or population described and the actual or perceived need for the proposed program is discussed?
- Methodology/Approach (40 points max): Does the statement show the logic and feasibility of the technical approach to reaching the target group or community? Are the types of outreach services provided for the target population appropriate, creative and cost-effective? Does the project plan demonstrate sustainability or the ability to provide lessons learned for future programs? Does the proposed project add value to other initiatives? Does the project use local partners? Does the proposal include a timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities? Does the program specify what NLM resources or NNLM national initiatives will be promoted and how they will be utilized throughout the project?
- Evaluation (15 points max): Is there an evaluation plan? Does the plan make sense given the goals and objectives? Is there a timeline and are individuals assigned responsibility for milestones or tasks? Are there other forms of evaluation that the project should consider or add? Is the plan thorough enough or feasible for the project?
- Project Staff (15 points max): Does the proposed personnel have experience in developing and conducting outreach and/or training programs in health information for patients, the public or healthcare professionals. Do the proposed personnel have prior experience working with the target group? Is there evidence of institutional facilities and resources adequate to support the proposed programs. If applicable, do project partners bring experience to the project team?
- Budget (10 points max): Is the proposed budget within funding limits? Is the budget justification sound? Could budget items be eliminated or reduced without jeopardizing the project? Does it include money within allowable line items? Do they have line items that account for all the requested money?
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5 points max): Does the application identify inequities and disparities or target underserved populations? Is the organization using an inclusive, community-engaged process for planning and implementation if they are proposing community-based programming?
- NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, individuals with a physical or mental disability, sexual and gender minorities, individuals under 18 or over 65, and individuals with less than a high school degree.
- RML/Office staff and Network members will review and score applications using a standardized RFP scorecard.
- Reviewer score sheets and comments will be shared with the applicant. If further clarification is needed, the applicant will be given 1 week to submit more information.
- The RML/Office will provide a subaward agreement for all approved projects. All sub-awards are cost reimbursement. Line item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures. Invoices may be sent monthly.